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- Karen Brown's Recommendation:
Siracusa is a fascinating Sicilian city. Its most ancient part, “Ortigia”, on a promontory jutting into the sea, is connected to the more modern city by a bridge. The Approdo delle Sirene in a two-story building looking over the harbor is a long-time dream come true for warm and friendly owners Fiorangela and her son, Friedrich. The eight minimalist style guest bedrooms, a few with water views, have air conditioning, television and minibar; each with a different colored bold striped bedspread, and matching tiled bathrooms. The main living room-reception area is cool and modern with parquet floors, white walls and framed nautical maps. What guests rave about most, besides the warm and very helpful hospitality, is breakfast: homemade cakes and breads, served when possible on the panoramic rooftop terrace laden with jasmine and bougainvillea vines and overlooking the sea. Another wonderful feature is the wide choice of itineraries and visits organized by Friedrich: canoe rentals, Greek theater performances, a coastal tour by motorboat. Free bikes are available to explore the immediate city and then there are guided tours of Baroque cities Noto and Modica, as well as more classic ones such as Taormina, Agrigento, or Piazza Armenina.